Daily Content Archive

(as of Sunday, November 24, 2013)
Word of the Day

baffle

Definition:(verb) Be a mystery or bewildering to.
Synonyms:dumbfound, flummox, mystify, nonplus, perplex, puzzle, amaze, stupefy, gravel, vex, pose, stick, beat, get
Usage: An apple tree producing square fruit would undoubtedly baffle experts.
Article of the Day

The Nomenklatura

In the Soviet Union and other Communist countries, the nomenklatura was an elite group of Communist Party members in key administrative government positions. It arose during Vladimir Lenin's tenure early in the 20th century. Certain officials—"patrons"—had the authority to appoint individuals—called "clients"—to certain positions. The client was thus beholden to his patron for employment, which helped to maintain the power structure. What was Joseph Stalin's nickname within the nomenklatura? More...
This Day in History

Jeremiah Horrocks Makes First Observation of Transit of Venus (1639)

A transit of Venus occurs when the planet passes between the Sun and Earth, obscuring a small portion of the Sun's disk. In 1639, English astronomer Jeremiah Horrocks made the first observation of such a transit by using a telescope to focus the Sun's image onto a white screen and watching as Venus's shadow, appearing as a small black disk, passed across it. These observations allowed him to estimate the distance from Earth to the Sun more accurately than ever before. How close was his estimate? More...
Today's Birthday

Benedict de Spinoza (1632)

Spinoza was a Dutch Jewish philosopher whose early interest in new scientific and philosophical ideas led to his expulsion from the synagogue in 1656. His philosophy represents a development of and reaction to the thought of René Descartes, and many of his most striking doctrines are solutions to difficulties created by Cartesianism. In his masterpiece, Ethics, he constructed a monistic system of metaphysics modeled on Euclid's Elements. How did Spinoza earn a living? More...
Quotation of the Day
There are two things that men should never weary of, goodness and humility; we get none too much of them in this rough world among cold, proud people.

Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894)

Today's Holiday

National Bible Week (2015)

A week devoted to encouraging people to read the Bible, in the belief that it will arouse a positive spiritual force in a world plagued with problems. National Bible Week is promoted by the National Bible Association (originally the Laymen's National Committee), a non-denominational group of businessmen founded in 1940 and devoted to the application of the Golden Rule in daily life. A huge audience listened to the NBC radio program that was broadcast to kick off the first National Bible Week scheduled for December 8-14, 1941; Pearl Harbor had been bombed just hours before. More...
In the News

Global Fund Bribery Rumors Confirmed

Since its inception in 2002, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has played a key role in combating these diseases, but it has recently also been plagued with allegations of corruption. A two-and-a-half year investigation by the Global Fund has substantiated some of these allegations, finding that two Cambodian officials accepted bribes from two mosquito net suppliers in return for the awarding of contracts. The Global Fund has since suspended its contracts with the suppliers in question. More...
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